Dear Springfield College Men’s and Women’s Tennis Team Families and Supporters,
For the past three years, I have been the coach of the tennis program here at Springfield College (2 years as the assistant men’s coach and 1 year as the head men’s and women’s coach). Unfortunately, I won’t be able to stay here to coach next year due to my visa status/situation. I wish I could stay but being an international person is often tricky.
I really want to say I had a wonderful time here at Springfield College for 3 and half years as many roles including a student, a PE instructor, an athletic counselor, an assistant men’s tennis coach, and most importantly as the men’s and women’s head coach this year. I want to truly thank the Athletic Department for giving me the opportunity to coach at Springfield College. This academic year was the busiest year here since my responsibility dramatically went up, but the most enjoyable and meaningful year to me. I worked very hard, because I simply wanted to make two tennis programs better and I loved my job and what I was doing, including my athletes.
I came to U.S. with almost no English. It was not easy to just simply talk to people and know how to order food at the beginning, even though I was 24 years-old at that time. It was embarrassing. I studied English for 5 months and then came to SC, and passed 3 under grad classes, then became a graduate student and was lucky to become an assistant men’s tennis coach. Before coming to the U.S., I played tennis very competitively until playing at Division I school for 4 years, but I did not think I would do something related to tennis since the reason I came here was to focus on studying (my college GPA was unfortunitely 2.19…below than all of my athletes’ grades, which is in shame). But, just in case I would, I brought one racquet; that was a right decision.
I always appreciated the many parents and relatives who came to our matches to cheer us on and support my athletes/your kids. I wanted to let every one of you know about the next year’s situation in person since I needed to decide on my future plan in March and I knew that I would not be here next year, but wanted to let my athletes know first. I hope all of you are okay with this. Again, I really appreciate your presence at many matches.
Regarding my future plans, I will start my Ph.D. program in the Kinesiology Department to study motor learning and sport psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in August that comes with full scholarship as a doctoral graduate research assistant. Leaving SC for UNLV will definitely be bitter and sweet, and … yes bitter. I hope to see you in Las Vegas!
I have met so many wonderful people and everyone has been so supportive of what I was trying to accomplish regardless of what I was doing. I wish you and Springfield College athletics all the best!
Go Pride! Let’s Go SC!
Takehiro (Hiro) Iwatsuki -G’14